Pre-MOT car checks you can do yourself

No one likes receiving that ill-fated call advising that their car has failed its MOT, especially when the failure reason is something simple and avoidable. Now, obviously unless you are a trained mechanic you can’t examine your vehicle to the same standard as a garage can, but the following pre-MOT checklist may help you to identify some simple problems that may result in a failed MOT.


Check that both your wing mirror and your rear-view mirror are both in good condition. If they are cracked, broken or vision to the rear of the vehicle through these mirrors is impaired then get them fixed as soon as possible.

External lights

All external lights are tested as part of a standard MOT test. This includes all headlamps, indicators and hazard lights that are visible from the outside of the car.

Ensure all lights are clean, undamaged and in working order. If any of your bulbs are not working, change them immediately.


Check your tyre pressure and ensure that your tyres have enough air in them. Additionally, check that your tyres tread is over the legal limit deemed roadworthy.


Both front doors of your car must be able to be opened from the inside and outside so ensure that the locks, handles and seals are in working order. Additionally, check that all of your passenger doors can be opened from the outside.

Number plate

Make sure that your number plate is clean and legible.

The little things

Last but not least, check your horn, window wiper blades, seat belts and oil levels.  These things may seem simple, but a resistance to check them could result in a failed MOT.

One final note:  please be advised that the MOT test only confirms that ‘at the time of the test, without dismantling, the vehicle met the minimum acceptable road safety and environmental standards required by law. It does not mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate. The test does not cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox. With this in mind, it is advisable to carry out the above checks at regular intervals throughout the year.



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